Corporate Event Planning: Ten Tips to Make it Unforgettable!

As all event planners know, corporate events are not all created equally. This can make corporate event planning a tricky business. An art, even.

Corporate events all have the same goal in mind: to bring a group—large or small—together for the purpose of inspiring them to do better in their professional lives, one way or another.

They can be engaging, emotionally-charged power-events, leaving attendees feeling united in their common purpose to advance their industries for the greater good of society as a whole!

Or, they can be awkward, boring snooze-fests that have the participants checking their watches and plotting their escapes out a side door.

If your work is in corporate event planning, an event like this can be a career-killer.

But, have no fear! We’ve compiled a list of ten tips to make sure your next corporate event is unforgettable.

Ten tips to make your corporate event unforgettable!

Be inspiring!

This is the whole point of corporate event planning and can’t be overlooked. If your attendees don’t leave your event inspired in some way, then you haven’t done your job as an event planner.

This is where the speakers you choose can play a key role in making your event unforgettable. Choosing the right person to speak to the particular challenges and issues of your participants can make all the difference between an event with impact and one that fades into distant memory.

Be interactive.

The main purpose of corporate event planning is to help businesses break down divisions that exist between their employees and various departments. This is also true for larger events that can work to bring people together who inhabit different areas of the same industry.

Through interactive activities such as workshops and icebreaker events, your participants will enjoy opportunities to get to know each other in more casual situations, rather than just sitting passively side-by-side at presentations and talks.

Be inclusive.

People love to feel included, especially in this era when so much of our lives are dominated by digital interactions rather than face-to-face. 

Spend lots of time during the event talking to participants, asking them how the event is going for them and how it might improve. Take polls and post the results. Create social media platforms dedicated to letting participants interact with each other. 

Did you know we have an interactive database of fabulous speakers? Check out the marketplace here.

Make your invitation…inviting!

The invitation is the first introduction to your event. So make sure it isn’t impersonal and humdrum, so recipients stay away from that delete button. Make your invitations thoughtful, informative, and reflective of the theme and intent of the event. If potential participants can get a good idea of what’s in store if they attend, they will be more likely to consider registering.

Pick a theme.

An integral part of your corporate event planning may include choosing a theme. 

A theme creates a narrative that can anchor your participants firmly in the experience. Find ways for attendees to participate, such as dressing to the theme or creating playlists they can download on their devices. 

Get educational.

Studies have shown that experiential learning is far more effective than passive learning, such as sitting and listening to lectures.

So, at your next corporate event make sure to include some experiential learning opportunities. This can include specialized training sessions or pop-up workshops. When an educational aspect is included in an event, it is transformed from a potential waste of time to a productive chance to improve skills and knowledge.

Choose your venue carefully.

A venue isn’t just a space—if chosen carefully, it can be elevated to an important part of your event’s story. So, put some thought into your venue selection. Choose something that fits with the theme and feel of your event. Also, a venue that has an interesting focal point or feature will add character to the even. It will also give your attendees a cool spot to gather.

Don’t forget to follow up.

Corporate event planning also means planning for the future. Post-event is a valuable time to gather feedback to put towards your next event, as well as making sure attendants don’t forget the experience they’ve just had. 

Send fun, interesting questionnaires to all the participants, inviting them to share what their favorite and not-so-favorite parts of the event were. 

Food and drink.

You’ve put so much thought into the venue, theme, content and speakers of your event. Don’t cop out when it comes to the food! 

What’s on the buffet tables may seem inconsequential compared to what’s on stage. But the truth is if you offer refreshments that go beyond the usual mediocre event fare, people will remember. Food matters, so don’t treat it like an afterthought!

Choose the right speakers.

Last but not least, the right presenters and keynote speaker will make or break your event. Choosing speakers correctly is not optional when corporate event planning, as they have the power to lift an event from mundane to memorable.

If you’re looking for an amazing, inspiring speaker for an upcoming event, make sure to reach out to us so we can help you find the perfect fit.

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Your perfect 7 step social media marketing event strategy

Your budget is set, the venue booked, speakers secured – now it’s time to promote your next event with social media marketing.

Of course, social media has to be a big part of that, but…

where to start?

The trick with all social media marketing is to be strategic and leverage your assets. The good news is that your event naturally will have a lot of assets, like speakers, sponsors, testimonials, attendees – even your event team.

Here is a 7-step social media marketing event strategy you can use to roll out social media promotion for all your events.

1. Less is best

Your first decision for social media marketing is to choose which social channels to focus on. Rather than trying to be everywhere, choose 2-3 channels you can easily manage. To get started, here are 3 questions to ask:

  • Where do you already have a following? There’s no point spending time promoting your event on Pinterest or Instagram if you have 100 followers – you’re efforts will get lost in the noise.
  • What channels are your audience using? If you are attracting a business audience, LinkedIn is great for B2B communication.
  • Where can you get noticed? Facebook may have the largest users, but to get your updates noticed you have to post into a group, create a Facebook event or use paid advertising.

For most B2B events, Twitter and LinkedIn will get you the most exposure, Facebook is more likely to get you the most engagement.

2. Build your strategy

“Video is an extremely effective medium to showcase the passion and enthusiasm your event inspires.” Social Media Examiner

Now that you have your social channels, it’s time to build a simple social media marketing strategy for your team. The goal should be to get maximum engagement and conversion with the smallest time commitment.

Start with these steps:

  • Upgrade your social profiles. Now is a great time to update the banners and company description on your social channels.
  • Delegate community management. Choose someone on your team to oversee the daily updates and replying to engagement.  
  • Create your event hashtag. Choose a hashtag that is easy to remember and use it everywhere, including the new banners for your channels.
  • Use video to get noticed. In our busy, digital-distraction world, video stands out in newsfeeds. Create a short highlight reel from last year’s event, encourage team members to capture clips at your venue – even working in your office. Also, ask for 30-second welcome videos from your main stage speakers (they should also post these on their channels.)
  • Add your event to your email signature.

3. Start early

“Many organizers forget to place enough time on event promotion using social media.” Canva

The earlier you start getting the word out on social, the sooner you will start to get traction. Of course, not everyone will get on board, but all you need is a small percentage to get the promotions started to start making noise. 

A good place to start is with the people you have the most influence over your team, main stage, and breakout speakers, sponsors, your venue event team, caterers, entertainers, and hotels. You might be surprised at the number of influencers on your list!

4. Get creative

“…make sure your hashtag is visible at your event so your guests know to use it. Include it in handouts and display it on screens throughout your venue.” Eventbrite

Look for opportunities to share the excitement of your event with creative posts. 

  • If you have a repeat event, use pictures from last year’s event to build excitement. 
  • As you secure your entertainers and speakers share the good news on social. Ask them to share as well.
  • Run fun contests to get more engagement, like asking followers to select their favorite thing to do in the host city.

5. Reward people

The more you reward people for using your event hashtag, the more you’ll see it being used. Have someone on your team check daily for mentions and then reward people with likes and shares.

At your event, have your host encourage attendees to Tweet using your event hashtag. At some events, organizers will install a flat-screen TV displaying a rolling Twitter feed so attendees can see their tweets going live!

6. Measure results

Planning a successful event is all about getting the biggest, best bang for your budget, right? Social media is no different. A part of your social media marketing planning strategy should be to monitor weekly some basic numbers:

  • Number of followers on each channel
  • Views and shares on your event updates
  • Number of times your hashtag gets used

7. Follow up after your event

“Social media messages should never be limited to text-only posts.” Dan McCarthy, Event Manager

After your event is a great time to keep the buzz going. Use social to get your event survey out, get attendees to share pictures, or promote your next event. People will be talking about your event and with a little encouragement the buzz will keep going (and promoting next year’s event.)

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Four Amazing Tips To Turn You Into A Powerful Public Speaker

Although it may be one of your biggest fears – it’s up there with death on peoples’ top five list of fears – public speaking is most likely going to be a part of your life at some point, so trying to avoid it and wheedle your way out of every opportunity to speak in front of more than two people just isn’t an option, or not a good one in any case. Instead, wouldn’t you rather be able to make public speaking into one of your skills – something to proudly show off on a CV, and wow your co-workers with during presentations? Spreading your ideas is easiest when you’re talking to people in person so that they can see your passion and interest firsthand, so making every single speech impactful with these four tips can help to shape your image and spread whatever message you need to get across.

1. Be Unselfish

“While one way of psyching yourself up before the ‘big speech’ might be to convince yourself that you’re an expert and everyone listening to you is just an idiot in their underwear (a commonly suggested thought process), this is terrible in practice.” Joe Worrell, a speaker at Writemyx.com and Nextcoursework.com, advises. “Your audience will feel alienated and be able to instantly notice your high and mighty status, whether that be through your body language or any complex terms which you use but don’t explain. To be as down-to-earth and accessible as possible, make sure that you speak in layman’s terms or explain complex concepts and terminology, and match your attitude and tone to the audience and situation.” A speech that works wonders for high school students, for example, won’t be accepted that easily by your co-workers and could be seen as condescending, while the vice versa situation may leave the students bored and confused. Don’t just think about yourself – consider your audience while planning any speech.

2. Use Powerpoint Properly

Media can be a brilliant asset to any speech or presentation – when used correctly. If it’s overused or relied on, your audience will become disinterested, and often assume that you have no actual passion for your topic. Someone reading off a computer screen in a monotone isn’t usually that convincing, but if you stand out in front of the media and only use it as a prompt, you’ll look a lot more passionate and knowledgeable. Also, your audience members won’t know every single line of your script if it isn’t on your powerpoint, so you’ll be able to keep the element of surprise and ‘planned spontaneity’ which make speeches so humanizing and relatable.

3. Mix Stories & Stats

Anecdotes can make an audience sympathize or empathize with you and understand your viewpoint. Statistics convince an audience and make them believe what you’re saying. “Both accurate stats and personal stories need to be used in equal measures to keep an audience engaged and convinced,” Natasha Hyde, a writer at Britstudent.com and Australia2write.com, says, “so don’t flood your speeches with stats and make them sound like one long financial report, but also don’t make them sound too much like old wives’ tales that you’d share with the family. Finding that balance, along with original content to keep the speech moving and flowing well, is the secret to crafting amazing speeches that will win over your audiences.”

4. Passion

There’s a simple rule you should always keep in mind while speaking publicly: if you’re bored, then so is the audience. You shouldn’t be making a speech about something that you’re not passionate about, and, if you are, you can expect it to be boring and lackluster – for certain business aspects of work, like presentations and meetings, this may be the norm. Still, if you’re speaking to an audience that you care about, with a message that you care about, then you’ll need to do more than read out notes and flick through a powerpoint. Throw yourself into your content and perform. Hand gestures and proper inflections in speech are useful markers for passionate speaking, but the best way to tell is to ask yourself if you want to be up in front of your audience, speaking to them. The answer might be a very, very quiet ‘yes,’ squashed by all your fears and doubts, but if it’s a definite ‘no,’ then passion might not be possible for you to grasp, and your speeches will suffer as a result.

eSpeakers guest blogger, Katrina Hatchett blogs about lifestyle at Academic Brits, and also enjoys working for Origin Writings as a valued member of the writing team. She is also involved in numerous business projects since one of her passions in life is identifying project problems and their solutions, which aren’t always that simple. Still, they do give her the satisfaction of problem-solving time and time again. Her main goal is to improve the effectiveness of everyone’s communication around the world, and one of the small ways by which she contributes to this goal is by writing for the Ph.D. Kingdom blog.

How to Avoid Scams that Target Speakers

Digital technology is an integral part of the speaking industry, creating new considerations when it comes to marketing and business development. Speakers want to build their business and connect with clients who are interested in paying for their services. But, unfortunately, there are scammers who take advantage of hungry speakers who are looking for new gigs.

Online scams are common in many industries, but the occurrence has recently increased for speakers. Here at eSpeakers, we want to help you be aware of potential scams so that you can keep yourself protected.

How and When to Manage Audience Q&A

Questions from the audience can enrich a panel discussion or derail it, so decide ahead of time when and how you will manage questions. You can:

  • Take Questions As You Go. Allow questions to percolate from the audience at any time.
  • Stop Periodically and Ask For Questions. For example, stop for questions after each panelist presentation, key topical discussion or stop every 20 minutes to take questions.
  • Dedicate a time for Q&A. Create a specific time to take questions from the audience, usually held at the end of the program and before the final summary.

Attention Meeting Professionals: The Main Reason Your Panels are Boring

This year at IMEX America in Las Vegas, I was speaking about how to make your panel discussions go from boring to bravo. Before the session began, a meeting professional said, “I’m not a big fan of panels. They are just too boring.”

My dear meeting professional. One of the main reasons your panels are boring is that YOU have not set your panel up for success. Sure, you identified a slot of time, selected a topic and wrestled up a moderator and some panelists. You consider your job to be done.

 

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